Tenancy deposit protection time limits for compliance
A landlord or agent must protect a deposit paid by an assured shorthold tenant and provide the prescribed information within the statutory time limit.
Restrictions, sanctions and time limits
A landlord or agent who fails to comply within the relevant time limit is liable to financial sanctions and restrictions on the use of a section 21 notice to end the tenancy.
There are set time limits within which a landlord should comply with the requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme. These depend on when the tenancy deposit was received by the landlord.
Deposits received on or after 6 April 2012
For a deposit received on or after 6 April 2012, the landlord/agent must protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
If the landlord or agent do not do so, the:
Deposits received between 6 April 2007 and 5 April 2012
For a deposit received between 6 April 2007 and 5 April 2012, the landlord/agent had to protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information within 14 days of receiving the deposit.
As a result of case law, the landlord/agent could avoid any sanctions by complying with their obligations at any time before the court hearing.
From 6 April 2012, the requirement to comply within 30 days of receiving the deposit was introduced. In order to avoid sanctions, landlords/agents of assured shorthold tenancies still in existence on 6 April 2012 had until 6 May 2012 to comply with all their tenancy deposit protection obligations, if they had not done so already.
If the deposit was not protected and/or the prescribed information was not given by this date, the:
Deposit received before 6 April 2007
Even though the law governing the protection of tenancy deposits came into effect on 6 April 2007, most assured shorthold tenancies that commenced before this date are affected by the legislation.
Statutory periodic tenancy arose on or after 6 April 2007
Where a deposit was paid in respect of a fixed-term tenancy before 6 April 2007, and the tenancy became a statutory periodic tenancy on or after that date, then unless the deposit had been returned or the tenancy had ended, the landlord/agent had to protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information by 23 June 2015.
If the deposit was not protected and/or the prescribed information not served, the:
tenant can make a section 214 claim for a sum of between one and three times the value of the deposit
landlord is prevented from serving a section 21 notice in most circumstances
Statutory periodic tenancy arose before 6 April 2007
Where a deposit was paid in respect of a fixed-term tenancy that became a statutory periodic tenancy before 6 April 2007, and has never been renewed since, the landlord or agent is not liable to a Section 214 claim if they failed to protect the deposit or serve the prescribed information.
It is not clear whether a failure to serve the prescribed information would invalidate a section 21 notice in this scenario.
Last updated: 17 March 2021
s.215(1), s.215(1A) and s.215(2) Housing Act 2004, as inserted by s.32 Deregulation Act 2015.
s.213(3) Housing Act 2004, before introduction of amendment.
Vision Enterprises LTD v Tiensia  EWCA Civ 1224.
s.184(2) Localism Act 2011.
art 16, Localism Act 2011 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional, Transitory and Saving Provisions) Order 2012 SI 2012/628.
s.215A Housing Act 2004, as inserted by s.32 Deregulation Act 2015.
s.215(1) Housing Act 2004.